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By Jon H. DavisPublished 4 months ago Updated 3 months ago 25 min read

There are places on Earth seldom seen by human eyes, remotely distant from civilization, where lifeforms abound in concentration. Colonies of penguins, numbering in the millions live and die in their chosen habitats of frozen ice and snow.

Their existence is so demanding, perseverance must be outstanding in order to survive. A penguin’s life is filled with strife; its utmost challenge, to stay alive. This quest, a test of courage and of daring, is not for the faint of heart. Penguins are born to fulfill a purpose, to raise their young and perpetuate the species.

Dark cold, long winter nights are sometimes passed alone, while tending egg of unborn chick. A penguin waits for the hunting parent to return with a meal of warm, regurgitated fish. In the frigid darkness of new moons, the hungry penguin seeks warmth in the huddle. Endless squawking is mostly present, among the noble flightless birds.

At a science research station, new data is discovered. Facts about the Earth and climate lead to warnings of our planet’s worsening conditions. Pollution still has no solution, as plastic fills the seas. On the land are endangered species nearing extinction, perpetuated by disease. In shrinking northern region’s forests, old-growth trees are plundered, turned into paper for sopping up the oil spills. In far distant future times, archeologists digging down through layers of accumulation, name this age, “The Plasticine.” ____________________________________________________


For the last few years, scientists Rob Arnold and Taylor Straus have been in the Antarctic, researching in specific fields. Rob, an astrophysicist is working on a new telescope design utilizing gravitational lensing. Taylor, a biotech engineer is developing survival pods that can endure extreme conditions, preserving life within.

Each team of specialists works on their projects in astronomy, biology, and weather at the Center. Researching everything from astrophysics to zymurgy, many discoveries are in the making. Yes, they even brew beer here at the Aurora Station. The nearest 7-Eleven is two continents away. The theory was that conditions here–cold outside and warm by the stove within–were perfect for brewing and needed to be tested.

A quonset hut is bright with light for work around the clock. Outside upon the ice lies an injured penguin near the hut. The dying bird, bleeding from the gut, is squawking in a woeful state, its time is running out.

Hearing the noise, a scientist working late, goes out in the cold to investigate. He finds the bloodied bird was hurt and quickly runs for some assistance. Penguin has no resistance.

Two scientists slide the bird onto a gurney, carrying it into their laboratory, noticing a pool of red is forming by its head. Split wide open, its brain is pulsing in a fissure. Gauze is applied, staunching the flow as a temporary measure. Mr. Penguin has such a fishy smell, so strong they sense it, while stitching up penguin’s bloody, leaking gut.

The bird is connected to a diagnostic unit. Its monitor displays all the penguin’s vitals, then it suddenly goes wild, with some signals registering off the scale.They see the penguin lying there, bloody on the table. When its bill starts clicking rhythmically, its eyes begin blinking oddly. They wonder if it is reacting to the lights above, or to something else?

What is going on they ponder? This bird is going crazy. Just a short time ago it seemed that it was dying. Now, it’s almost flying off the table. So they strap it down, rather than sedate it. The penguin continues clicking.

They find the rhythm of the clicks sounding so familiar. Click click click, clack..clack..clack, click click click, the pattern keeps repeating.

Simultaneously, Rob and Taylor look at each other, aghast. As the clicking repeats, they exclaim in unison, “That’s Morse code!” Could the bird be coding them a message?

“Totally unlikely, since penguins don’t know Morse code. It’s just coincidence. Listen.” The clicking stops suddenly. All is quiet for the moment.

“Just coincidence, really?” They look closely, leaning over the penguin lying still. Its bill is ebony and crimson. “This beak’s so sleek and sharp, good for catching fish.” Then suddenly with a swish, the penguin’s sword-like beak slashes out. “Watch it,” says Rob alarmed, as its saber narrowly misses Taylor’s arm. The bird starts clicking rhythmically, watching thoughtfully. They wonder, whispering, “do you think it’s listening?”

The penguin clicks three times, and stays quiet. Rob exclaims, “it’s communicating!” “It’s just parroting, you don’t think it actually understands us, do you?” “Parrots do,” Rob says to Taylor. “They’re just mimics, I know it hears us, it’s just reacting to our actions,” adds Taylor.

They both look the bird right in the eyes, saying, “can you hear us?” Replying, the great regal bird clicks three times. “Think it understands us?” “You kidding me?” “Go on, ask a question.” To the bird Rob says, “click once for yes. Do you understand?” The wise old penguin clicks once more, then goes silent.

They stare in disbelief. “Oh my god! Do you know what this means?” “The penguin clicks again. “I wasn’t asking you,” Rob says to the bird. “Hang on, we’ll be back in ten.” The penguin clicks once more in acknowledgement.

Nodding heads, they proceed towards the storage room. Once inside, they confide. “This is so insanely crazy, let’s keep this to ourselves for now.” The stunning new, amazing find, tremendous in its gravity, now is bound to utmost secrecy.

Loading up a cart with pertinent equipment, they return to where the penguin rests peacefully. “It knows we saved its life and appreciates it. That may be a stretch, maybe not, we’ll see.” It was the penguin’s first time sheltered from extremes of weather in the freezing cold outdoors. If the bird understands and speaks a language, imagine what stories it could tell. It knows so many things about its icy world first hand (or flipper).

The large array of instruments: sensors, probes, monitors, and meters of all types are ready for connection. The widescreen LCD displays fluctuating data of their exploration and experiments. The bird lies still as sensors are attached on all extremities. Heart rate, pulse, and temperature register clearly on the vibrant screen, where brainwaves appearing on a graph, move symmetrically.

The penguin’s skull is open with access to its brain. Rob searches for the specific region controlling speech. Probing deep, sensors tune into waveform patterns. Speech and language form in Broca’s region of the brain, a lobe located in the left hemisphere.

Rob continues probing the penguin’s throbbing brain. “I think it knows we’re helping it, but only time will tell.” Brain waveforms undulate on the screen, as a dual microprobe slowly moves about, the tips an inch apart. The scan reveals something new, as Rob examines a little deeper. The waveform suddenly changes frequencies. Instead of long smooth, steady waves appearing on the screen, now the patterns look more jagged, moving rapidly, like audio signals on a digital recorder. They route the signal from the probe to a speaker and switch it on, when they hear an unlikely voice. . .

“Can ya hear me now?” it says, in a familiar accent, sounding Italian. Expressions on their faces are explosive as laughter comes bursting out.

“You had me going there,” says Rob hysterically. “Very funny Taylor, when did you think that one up?”

Taylor, with a puzzled expression, is taken aback. “I promise, I had nothing to do with it.”

“He’s right! It was me; I’ve been hearing yous guys for a while now. What the hell took ya so long?” As the voice crackles out of the speakers, the penguin continues. “Hey, now I can hear myself talkin’ with my ears. I got very good ears you know, and I could hear your quiet whispers.”

Rob and Taylor stand there astounded, speechless, and ungrounded. Have they shorted out?

“Hey, so now you’re not talkin’? All I can do is squawkin’ in this penguin suit.” The penguin lets out an ear-splitting screech. It shocks the two dazed, confused scientists out of their strange and hapless stupor.

Feeling like a pair of fools, the scientists ask: “So, do you have a name?”

“Yeah, I have a name, doesn’t everybody? It’s Manny, Manny Martini from Miami. Well, I used ta be. This is my third time around in this freakin’ penguin suit. I don’t think I can take it anymore. One time I did myself in by diving off a cliff and hit the rocks below, head first. Man that really hurt, it was a slow and painful death. But I wound up in one of those big eggs again. Ya feel like an ice cube in the freezer, for a really long time. Then ya just gotta get outta there, and believe me, ya ain’t gettin’ any help. There’s a bright spot and ya have to break on through to the other side; it’s in our DNA ya know, writin’ all the rules, and also how we grow and learn.”

“Uh Rob, can you help me out a minute, I want to get a couple of things,” says Taylor. To the penguin he adds, “Hang on, we’re going to get some more equipment out of storage. Back in a few.”

“Sure, I ain’t going nowhere, take it easy. I’m lovin’ this comfy bed and it’s so warm in here. But I’m missin’ my Jacuzzi.”

They were about to crack up laughing, but keep their cool.

Once behind closed doors, they whisper to each other, and wonder who is pulling this clever prank. Then they hear the voice from the adjoining room.

“I hear yous guys in there telling secrets, but I can’t quite make ‘em out. Wanna speed it up a little, I got a lot to talk about.”

The two come out with a few small boxes, deciding to call the bluff. But they begin to have some real doubts.

“Listen Manny, or whomever else is hearing this, we know you hacked in to our systems and have us mirrored now. We will resign and concede, you have really hoaxed us!” Taylor firmly states, looking at Rob, nodding affirmatively, adding,“You win!”

“You guys think this is some kinda’ joke? Gimme a break, you want more proof? Google me! Take a look, an you’ll see. Like I said, I’m Manny Martini from Miami. The Upper Eastside was a little rough at times. But life was good there, mostly. Until I got a serious case of lead poisonin’ one night after work. I was just comin’ home after a cleanup job, dumpin’ some local trash in the swamp. I liked feedin’ the gators from time to time. But this night, there was a surprise party waitin’ for me, and them lead slingers plugged me bad, eight times they did, right there outside my place of business. We ran a little laundry-mat and a cleaning service too, but did most of that other kind of dirty work in nearby neighborhoods.”

That laundry-mat was our bread-and-butter, we washed and pressed a lot of paper, moving a ton of laundry powder too. We had a pretty good reputation in certain circles, ya know.

I was “The Man.” But the competition had other plans.”

That laundry-mat is still in the family, and now my cousin Vinny runs the operation. He was at my funeral, I’m sure, even though my body was there, I never saw it. I was gone into this frozen wasteland. It’s pretty tough goin’ at times, I told ya.”

Rob and Taylor listen, fascinated, staring at the bird.

The big penguin voices an ear-piercing skrawww, skrawww, then starts clicking his beak rhythmically while humming a tune from a Frank Sinatra song, Come Fly With Me.

A state of awe, surprise, and wonder all rolled into one, spread across their faces. Thinking, Manny might be sincere.

Manny continues: “We had a big, spacious penthouse, with a Jacuzzi on the roof. Oh, how I miss that thing, had a swimmin’ pool too. The wild parties up there bring back memories. That’s all history now. No more booze, no more women, now I have a mystery. What the hell am I doin’ in this penguin suit?”

“But that was all before I died. A penguin’s life is no vacation, let me tell ya, so much frustration fills my every day. I recall Sundie school, and what they had to say: When we get old and die our souls go up to heaven, livin’ happily ever-after. Bullshit, they were just sellin’ a bill of goods with no guarantee. We don’t have souls, we have bodies, temporarily. We are souls, so I learned. Now I was floating free in space, but felt so lost and out of place. So alone, I didn’t know where to go. Earth below receded rapidly and faded into eerie blackness. I’d lost control and all sense of time, no more body, no more pain.”

Rob and Taylor look on, so confounded, awaiting further explanation.

“I’m not sure where my thoughts were coming from, as my consciousness slipped away. There was a presence guiding me to an unknown destination, into my next incarnation.”

“And then?” Rob asks.

“That’s when the soul-minders ghostly forms appeared. They were surroundin’ me with a strange sensation of shrinking really small, and smaller still, until there was nothing left at all.

It was all I could remember before I realized what remained of me was within some unknown enclosure, dark and cold.”

“So, it seems like you were in the egg then,” Taylor queries.

“Yeah, I got rolled around a lot in my damp, cramped space,upside-down and on my head, I knew I wasn’t dead no more.”

“Unbelievable, you can remember that!” Rob exclaims.

“Somethin’ else I’ll never forget was when I cracked my way out of the egg. Oh my god, I never smelled anything so bad! Stinkin’ fish filled the air so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

Ma was looking down at me and made a squawkin’ sound, that stuck in my brain like an echo, unforgettable. My Pop was not around, but far away, in the fishin’ grounds.”

“That’s incredible!” Taylor comments as Rob stares in awe.

“More than that, it was unbearable. I had to find a way out of this crazy situation, an’ I kept tryin’ with no luck. It was so freakin’ cold out there, I was feelin’ really stuck. My first meal was so unreal, Ma puked it down my gullet, a mix of chewed up shad and mullet. Survival was no piece of cake, endless squawkin’ kept me awake. Thoughts of comfort, just a dream from long ago.”

“You think there’s something we can do? We’re still having trouble believing this is true, not a clever hoax,” says Taylor quizzically. “You should know, we’ve been recording this conversation,” Rob adds seriously.

“Ah, don’ worry about it. They ain’t gonna find me here, that’s a laugh, who in the world would ever believe Manny Martini came back as a penguin? Not just any kind of penguin either, I’m an Emperor. Now there’s a bit a irony for ya. I used ta command respect and got it too. Guess I’m just stuck in this penguin suit. Not sayin’ nothin’ bad, I kinda grew to like it, my third time around ya know. This feather outfit’s really pretty warm and waterproof, kind of like a James Bond wetsuit. I like the colors too. Oh man, this sword I got growin’ outta my face is super deadly. Nobody gonna wanna mess with me. When I’m walkin’ round I feel kind of clumsy, like all the others do. But when I’m in the water, you should see me swim, just like Aquaman."

Rob asks, “Manny, I’d like to know, how many penguins like you are out there? Souls that were once in human bodies?”

“I don’t have a clue. I think about it a lot though and I haven’t found one yet. So, I feel real lonely most the time. I don’t have any way to communicate my thoughts. They don’t translate into penguinese. Penguin language is pretty simple, we make each sound distinctive, you get the patterns easily. I think it must be instinct. Ya just kinda know what to do, ya screw up a few times, then ya get it right in the end.”

“We have a thousand questions, and want you to be quite comfortable. Your healing is going to take a while. Is there anything we can do for you?”

“Sure, I can think of a few things right off the bat, thanks for askin.’ OK, I wanna Jacuzzi, and how ‘bout a couple a pizzas and oh, you probly don’t have delivery down here, what am I thinkin’? Then, how ‘bout some music? Sinatra’s good. I’m pretty thirsty too, got any vino?”

Jaws drop, eyes staring, as they chorus, “Is this for real?”

“Sure thing, we’re on it. Lets start off with water, you need more hydration,” Rob says.

“OK doc. Think you could loosen these things up, I ain’t gonna fall outta bed,” says Manny, sounding pleased, as Rob loosens the straps on the table.

“Thanks pal, I appreciate what ya doin’ for me,” says Manny.

Rob slips a hose down their new buddy’s throat, turning the water on.

“Oh man! I forgot what fresh water tastes like, so refreshing, oh I cant’ get enough of this.”

“Enjoy it while you can pal,” says Rob, both amused and confused by this most groundbreaking discovery.

“This is the weirdest thing. I’ve been hearing my thoughts as I’m thinkin’ em, and my words are comin’ through your stereo. Now I’m guzzling water at the same time! Ma used ta say “don’t talk with your mouth full, ha! But now I’m drinkin’. Don’t drown me now, I’m feelin’ kinda bloated.”

Rob turns off the faucet. “We’re as stunned as you are, and no longer believe this is a clever hoax.”

“Nope, no joke, I’m the real deal,” says Manny proudly. “I’ve been lookin’ round your place, ya sure do have a lotta gizmos. What ya doin’ with all this stuff?”

“Well, right now, we’re studying you. We were beginning to think we needed to have our own heads examined too. You know what I mean?” says Rob, letting out a big sigh.

“You bet, exactly. If somebody started telling me they knew a talking penguin, I’d think they’re cuckoo. Hey, I just got an idea, we could do a road show and make a bundle. We could stay in fancy, high-class places and get a suite with a Jacuzzi.”

Penguins don’t have very readable expressions like humans, but Manny puffed out his chest, feeling proud of his idea.

Taylor said, “he’s quite the creative thinker isn’t he?”

“Who would believe it?” Rob just shook his head.

“At first, I thought our findings should be kept secret, but now I’m not so sure. You think the world is ready for this?” Rob questions.

“I think we should consider all the options first, doing further evaluations later. We have to figure out how we’re going to close up his skull and stay connected. You think we could use a bluetooth link?” Taylor asks.

“I considered that and have what I need, so we might as well get started. Manny, you’re not saying anything.”

“No, I was thinkin’ deeply, not like I was talking with you, and I wasn’t hearing my voice on the stereo. So I think I just figured out how this works.”

“Manny, you heard what we have to do, your brain needs to be fully inside your skull. We’ll give you local anesthesia so you shouldn’t feel any pain.”

“No problem, I’ll let ya know if I feel somethin’,” Manny says.

The two scientists get to work, putting the penguin’s brain back in its head with a bluetooth chip wired into Broca’s lobe. They finally finish up, screwing a carbon-fiber disc over the hole in Manny’s skull. ___________________________________________________

Six quonset-like dwellings were placed around the hexagonal layout of the compound, appearing as a star from above. Each twenty-by-forty-foot unit, had the same overall design. But their labs varied, each one had specific scientific instruments.

The central structure was used for conferences, group dining, and accommodated visitors. Lower levels housed geothermal systems, electric generators, and fresh water supply. A crew of six lived in the uppermost of the three subterranean levels. The other two featured an exercise room, spa, a recreation facility, and theater, rounding off the creature comforts.

The computer systems within the entire facility were connected securely, isolated from the outside world. Contact with other research centers around the globe was through satellite links with shared data stored independently in two auxiliary mainframes. All of their research from the beginning of the Penguin Project was safely stored in the lab’s internal computers.


“Manny, are you awake? We’re done now, you’re all patched up. How are you feeling?”

“I think I mighta drifted off. Sounds like you two were quite successful, cause I still hear my words on the stereo. I gotta go outside for a business meetin’, if you’ll open the door I won’t wet the floor. I’ll try and make it quick,” Manny says, hopping off the table.

“Sure thing Manny, seems like the natural way for you. Now don’t get lost,” says Rob, surprised at the penguin’s agility.

“Get lost? You kiddin’, ya know I got this amazin’ sense of direction, it’s like my own built-in GPS.”

Outside in the frigid air Manny thinks how nice it is in there, how civilized. He is hoping to find a way to stay inside, since the penguin life is getting tougher as he is growing older. He waddles back, knocking with his beak. Rob lets him in.

“How’d it go? Are you feeling any pain?” Rob asks.

“Smooth,” says Manny. “I’m still a little sore down there.” Looking at his bloodied feathers, brushing them with his wings, he shakes his head. “That’s one nasty gash I got when that big wave threw me on the rocks, so thanks a bunch for sewin’ me up. You got a shower here? I’d like ta wash this off.”

“We have one, but you need to keep those stitches dry. So you’ll have to wait. You must be tired, and it’s late. I’m turning in, and you should get some rest. Goodnight.” Rob retires to his quarters thinking, could this all be just a dream?

Rob and Taylor rise early, finding Manny already on his feet, swaying. “Looks like our guest is enjoying himself,” Rob says. “It sure does,” replies Taylor.

“Morning guys, sleep well? I’m feelin’ pretty good, what’s for breakfast? How’s about scrambled eggs, I could eat a dozen. Ya know that hotdog eatin’ champ from Coney Island? I think his name is Joey; I could beat him easy. This gut of mine holds thirty pounds of fish, at least.” Manny pats it with his wings.

Laughing and surprised, not expecting this awkward situation, Rob says, “They’re no supermarkets here, so we’ll see what’s in the fridge. Want some tuna?”

“Not my first choice. I think we need to talk and come up with some arrangement, it could benefit us all.”

“And just what, exactly, do you have in mind, Manny?”

“Well, I’ve been thinkin’, I really like it here and want to stay. I remember ya said you want to make me comfortable.”

“It’s more complicated than you may realize,” Taylor replies.

“Look, if it’s a financial problem, don’t worry. I got some money stashed away, it was for a rainy day,” says Manny. “All I got to do is make a call, so now it’s up to you.”

“We can always use more funding for our research, so how much, if we may ask, are you talking about?”

“I could never get it without your help, I kinda owe yous guys a favor for savin’ my sorry ass. It’s half-a-billion smackers!”

Stunned and speechless, the two sit there dumbfounded. Although quite tempting, they realize they can’t accept this most unlikely offer.

“Well, say somethin’, Manny says. I’m liken’ all these creature comforts. That penguin life is for the birds, not me, no more, I’ve had enough.”

“I would think that any assets of yours were appropriated after your death; there are always expenses,” Taylor comments.

“Sure, those funds were in the bank, what remained went to the family as intended. I put that load of cash in a very safe place. So, when you’re ready to make a deal, let me know.

Who’s makin’ my eggs and toast? I’m pretty hungry.” The breakfast Rob makes for Manny quickly disappears.

Manny tells them about the untraceable, off-shore account with absolutely no connection to his former life. They can use what they need for equipment and research, but Manny wants something in return. He volunteers to be the subject of their new Penguin Project, knowing the road show idea will never fly. Penguins can’t speak words with their mouths like Mr. Ed, but only squawk, bray, hiss, and sort of whistle.

A voice comes over the intercom from outside the door. “Hi Taylor, it’s Michelle, I’m here for your massage.” It is nearly nine. Taylor looks surprised, having lost track of time. He buzzes her in. “Manny, I’m turning off the audio, so just be a penguin for a while.” Manny nods…

“Hi, you’re early, Michelle, we’ve been a little busy here.”

As the thirty-something blonde, fitness trainer catches sight of the penguin standing by the kitchen counter, she whispers: “Taylor, that penguin looks like it’s eating something off the counter, what’s it doing here?”

“Oh, it’s just finishing breakfast, he likes eggs.”

“Oh sure, that’s natural. . .” she replies with a quizzical look.

Pointing, Michelle says, “He’s all bloody.”

“You should have seen him when I found him. Nice to see you,” Rob says.”We sewed him up, so he’s become our new pet project for a while. Penguin life is so mysterious, they have amazing adaptability. Look at him, he seems right at home.”

“Sure does, he’s eating off your plate, and how. . . oh never mind. If I wasn’t late, I’d stay and listen, but I gotta work on Tay. Later, I want to hear it all.”

Taylor is waiting on the massage table, now in his room. Forty- five minutes later, Michelle leaves.

Rob says, “I’ll get the sled, we have to hurry now. I know she thinks something’s up. You got my text to reset your password for the Penguin Project files, right?”

“I did, it’s safe, and encrypted,” replies Taylor.

Rob and Taylor suited up in expedition parkas, approach Manny. “We need help translating,” says Rob, turning the bluetooth in his smartphone on. “Manny, say something.”

“Where we goin’?” Manny asks. “Ya had me worried.” His voice is loud and clear through the phone. We’re mobile now, let’s move,” Rob says. “ We’re going sledding, did you ever ride a ski-doo?

“Nah, but close, I rode a sea-doo in the ocean. It was fun, till I saw some sharks, a little to close and personal.”

Outside, Rob brings the ski-doo around pulling a small sled. “Hop up there and settle in.” A blanket covers a foam wedge as Manny leans back, saying, “This is pretty comfy.”

They ride east for an hour, reaching a ridge overlooking a large colony of penguins far below. Amazed by the sheer spectacle of thousands, they slowly make their way down the incline, under watchful, wary eyes. Manny catches a whiff of the stench of fish, and says, “This sure smells like home.”

The sled stops and they get off, about eighty yards from the colony. A squawking cacophony fills the air. Rob turns on a megaphone. “Attention! Attention! If any one of you feel that nature made a mistake and you don’t belong here, come forward. The message is repeated as they wait. Ten minutes pass. Manny remains silent. Rob’s phone translates the same message into many languages, playing it through the megaphone. Soon they spot a solitary penguin emerging from the masses, moving slowly towards them.

As Manny sees the figure nearing, he stands his ground, anticipating the unknown. “Hey guys, this is how we greet each other when excited.” He raises his beak skyward, trumpeting loudly, flapping flippers. Then Manny says “hello,” coming though Rob’s phone. The other penguin responds similarly, as is customary. “Hello,” says the voice, sounding directly into Manny’s brain, as if by telepathy.

“I can hear her voice talkin’ to me, right inside my head! My name’s Manny, Manny Martini from Miami, who are you?”

The penguin with a Chinese accent says, “Oh my god, I can’t believe it! It’s me, Mai-Ling Wong, I washed your dirty laundry, did other nasty jobs for you too. A bullet came through the window when they shoot you dead that night, it kill me too. Now here I am with you. Why this happen?”

Manny sighs, explaining the strange coincidence involving Mai-Ling, his new companion. Amazingly, he is communicating telepathically with someone from his past. The strong instincts driving Manny are compelling him to stay. He thanks Rob and Taylor for their help, as the scientists contemplate the future of the Penguin Project, unsure of what lies ahead.

Manny is overjoyed with his newfound mate, Mai-Ling. Wing to wing, they waddle off towards the squawking throng in the cool, crisp air and fading light.

The End

Short StoryAdventure

About the Creator

Jon H. Davis


Jon H. Davis, is a digital alchemist, and explorer, who documents the natural world and cultures with words, photos, and videos. View more of his work with partner Iris Brooks at their NLS website,

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